The HSE has warned the public about the dangers of heat stress, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
The appeal comes following Met Éireann’s high-temperature advisory, which indicates that temperatures could reach over 30 degrees Celsius in the country next week.
The HSE has urged the public to stay safe in the heat and to be mindful of heat exhaustion, heat stress and heatstroke.
In heatwaves, significant increases in mortality can occur, especially in older people, young children, and more vulnerable groups, it says.
- You might like to leave drinks in the fridge.
- An adult needs approximately 2 litres of liquid over 24 hours. This may be less for smaller people or those with medical conditions;
- Make sure you have enough water to drink. It is important to stay hydrated;
- Drink more fluids when you feel any dehydration symptoms. The best fluids to drink are water or oral rehydration sachets – chat to your pharmacist about how to use these safely;
- Drink enough during the day, so your urine is a pale, clear colour.
- Minimise unnecessary heating – turn off the central heating, electrical equipment and lights that you do not need;
- Keep out the sun between 11 am to 3 pm – stay in the shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight;
- If you have to go outdoors, protect your skin by using shade, wearing clothing that covers the skin, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen of 30+ for adults and 50+ for children;
- Use natural ventilation such as opening windows when the air feels cooler outside than inside (e.g. at night) and where it is safe, secure, and feasible to do so;
- Evaporative cooling – dampening your skin may help keep you cool.
- If you are using air conditioning, make sure it is using a fresh air supply, which the HSE says, is important to prevent the spread of Covid-19;
- Increase air flow through buildings wherever possible;
- Use electric fans with caution, as they may not be safe for higher temperatures and should not be used where a person may be incubating or a case of Covid-19, the executive says.
Who is particularly vulnerable?
Heatwaves can affect any of us, but those most at risk are:
- People with underlying health conditions, including problems with breathing, heart, kidneys, and diabetes
- Those with Alzheimer’s and dementia
- People who spend a lot of time outside or in hot places – those who work outdoors or living in homeless settings;
- Babies and children;
- People >65-years-old.
When to seek medical help
Contact your GP or the ED if you are unwell and especially if you are showing signs of serious dehydration that needs urgent care:
- Confusion and disorientation;
- Feeling; very dizzy
- Have not urinated all day;
- Feeling like your heart is beating fast;
- Having fits (seizures).